Sydney's Super-Popular RaRa Ramen Is Now Serving Up Its Brothy Bowls in Burleigh Heads
Head down James Street's arcade to tuck into its signature tonkotsu, three types of vegan ramen and brews from the neon-lit bar.
Thanks to the soothing tones of waves lapping against the shore, a trip to Burleigh Heads always comes a soundtrack. But if you're a fan of Japanese cuisine, it now also features slurping noises aplenty. The reason: RaRa Ramen, which has opened its doors on James Street. It's the Sydney-based chain's first outpost in the Sunshine State, adding the Gold Coast site as a sibling venue to its four New South Wales stores.
On the menu: creamy, brothy, stomach-warming tonkotsu ramen, which has proven quite the hit at RaRa Redfern, RaRa Randwick and RaRa Chan in Eveleigh. Taking its cues from the chain's vegan offshoot Lonely Mouth, RaRa Burleigh Heads does three-types of meat-free bowls, too — so you can choose between a soy shio with grilled tomato and housemade chilli grind, a miso version that features grilled tofu, and the vegan tantanmen with its plant-based mince.
For snacks, both chicken karaage and cauliflower karaage are on offer, the latter with vegan mayonnaise. Or, there's also corn tempura, pork gyoza, Japanese pickles and vegan kimchi.
While a great bowl of broth and noodles is always a drawcard, RaRa Burleigh Heads boasts another reason to drop by, all thanks to its neon-lit cocktail bar. Glowing hues are a feature of the company's other sites, too; however, in this case, the vivid lights nod to the area's history. When on the Gold Coast and all that.
Drinks-wise, sours are a highlight, alongside a lineup of beers that includes Japanese brews. And, the venue's decor reflects its beachy setting in other ways, including in the curved lines featured in the fitout.
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Burleigh Heads locals and visitors can find RaRa's new store at the back of an arcade on James Street. If you're wondering why owners Scott Gault and Katie Shortland have decided to make the leap, Gault is originally from Brisbane — and, on a trip this way to see family after navigating border closures and restrictions during the peak of the pandemic, the pair spotted the property. "We let it percolate in our heads, and thought it could be a good opportunity to bring RaRa to the Gold Coast," Gault tells Concrete Playground. "Initially, we didn't have any plans to expand interstate, or to open a new store at the time."
Like most Brisbanites, Gault has fond childhood memories of spending ample time on the coast, and identified Burleigh as an exciting food hub. Also a factor in the decision: the Gold Coast's existing culinary range. Gault notes that the city has boasted "great options for Japanese food over the years, which have informed everyone's palate."
RaRa Ramen is now open at 21A/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads — open 1130am–10pm Friday–Saturday and 1130am–9pm Sunday.
Images: Kitti Gould.
Published on June 09, 2021 by Sarah Ward